Modernising Your Marketing
& embracing the new ‘normal’
With the age of ‘wokeness,’ up and coming generations growing up with technology at their fingertips, and linguistics changing weekly thanks to viral culture, several marketing (and business) practices are becoming quickly outdated.
THE TECHNOLOGY CHANGE
Across the world internet usage is up thanks to the recent pandemic, and in some countries by up to 40%. When I (Kitty) did a quick round-up of friends and everyone at work, the average daily phone use was 7h 22m. Everyone said that it was much higher than pre-lockdown (300 years ago). People who lived with partners/ close family noted a lesser increase than those who lived either by themselves or in more strained relationships.
Facebook noted an increase in 70% of people using Messenger to make group video calls, and popular video chat app Houseparty had a rise of 79% according to the New York Times
43% of internet users say they’ll shop online more frequently post-outbreak according to GlobalWebIndex and online was heading more mobile even before lockdown.
Even without a global pandemic, shifts were already happening. 89% of people own a smartphone, and it’s our most popular device. The convenience of having the internet in your hand is unparalleled. It’s the ability to access your entire life in one small device.
If you are not building your website fully optimised for mobile, then you are making a huge mistake. Fact.
60% of Google searches are done via mobile devices. Only five years ago, the figure was nearly half that – 34%.
Primark is a prime example of a lack of adaptation to online. As of the day of typing, May 6th 2020, they still have no online offering. From a monthly sale of £650m to zero in April, it shows how drastic not having a way to sell online can be.
Technology will also form a massive part of getting Britain back on its feet. From utilising contactless with NFC, apps like Smart Shop from Sainsbury’s to the events industry using intelligence to manage organised events. When used in the correct ways, technology is a massive help to streamline processes, reduce travel and Co2 emissions as well as assisting in complex tasks. It makes you wonder if this will continue in the ‘new normal’ as a more cost-effective way of doing business.
KEEP IT LEAN, GO GREEN.
The introduction of such schemes like BCorp, a program that holds companies accountable to a high level of standards, has meant that more and more companies are conscious of their carbon footprint.
Ok, so what’s one thing you can do easily? Meetings. Some people hate them; some people love them. We’re not saying there’s no longer a place for them, instead move them to a digital-first theory. Now, in the current climate, all meetings are virtual, so why don’t we continue that post lockdown?
Say three people are going to a meeting, driving between 0 and 100 miles to get there. According to OWLLabs, this would generate 1,602lb of carbon emissions. Imagine if your business undertakes at least two off-site meetings per month – that is 19,224lbs of carbon.
Take that meeting virtually, and it results in a mere 21lb of emissions. A total of 252lbs per annum. Just by turning one monthly meeting to a virtual one is a saving of 18,972 lbs. Google Meet, Zoom, Cisco Webex to name but a few, are all solid video conferencing platforms. As a company with GSuite, we use Google Meet for all meetings at the minute, and it’s pretty great. We certainly intend to keep up with virtual meetings to do our bit for the planet as well as free more hours up in a working day – a win-win.
EQUIVALENT OF 18,972lbs saved!
This is the same as…
This is just the beginning of an eco journey.
Reviewing your suppliers, partners and your internal processes can all be reviewed to ensure a minimal carbon emission. From pushing for sustainable search engines, minimising the number of emails you send, looking at who does your printing and their stance, asking your landlord where the waste goes; there is so much you can do with little expenditure.
A ‘WOKE’ WORLD
I’m not a huge fan of the word ‘woke’, but it does demonstrate the fact that a lot of people are becoming more and more aware over the past five-ten years of their inherited privilege.
From gender to orientation to the colour of your skin, companies that are not making wise decisions on diversity and subconscious inclusion have struggled and will continue to do so.
Take Victoria’s Secret as a prime example of a traditional company failing to keep up with the times. The VS Fashion Show, once American TVs prime spot, annually saw viewings fall year on year until the show was eventually cancelled.
Later their Chief Marketing Officer resigned, Ed Razek, after comments he made in an interview regarding transgender models in the show caused widespread outrage. They later hired their first transgender model, Valentina Sampaio, in what many called a token move and a step too late.
Victoria’s Secret and the history of marketing hypersexualisation, creating a ‘male fantasy’ and selling women the idea that certain items of clothing will make them more appealing is outdated and irrelevant.
They never changed, and their year on year performance and closing of multiple stores only validated their slow adaptation to the modern world.
Only recently have they shown women of different sizes, and while they have a long history of different races, the blend of showing real women who are not photoshopped beyond belief is a step in the right direction. Let’s hope this is the start of something modern and appropriate to today’s consumers.
ON THE POSITIVE SIDE
We couldn’t find an example of a company doing this perfectly all the time, because businesses are still implementing change and what is perfect?
However, we have seen a number of companies who have done some incredible work to naturally promote inclusivity.
Starbucks UK with their #whatsyourname campaign made inclusivity natural, highlighting how a name on a cup could mean something huge to transgender teens. Their campaign told a beautifully simple story but highlighted the Starbucks experience. While they have other questionable business practices that we are in no way condoning, it is important to educate ourselves on both the positives and the negatives of a company and then make a decision on how we approach it.
Or during the pandemic, Morrisons have offered a Ramadan box, filled with traditional foods you may find at an iftar meal. It’s not a big show and tell of inclusivity but simply a way to market to an audience that is celebrating a religious festival of huge significance to them.
AND WHAT ABOUT LINGUISTICS?
At the core of everything we do is language.
It’s our connector, a way of communicating. Some find words harder than others, some revel in the written, others in the spoken.
Companies that know and understand the sociolinguistics of their target markets are winning right now.
KFC UK & Ireland is my favourite example of this. Their social media feeds are filled with pop culture references, memes and generally the kind of language their highest value customers will use.
If you are not portraying yourself properly through your language, then everything you say loses authenticity, and you will find yourself losing relevance very quickly.
We’ve said before about how having an opinion is a good thing in marketing and portraying your opinion and stance through the linguistics you use.
We are certainly not saying you need to be all things for all people. But, you do need to look and whether you could be offending a community. Individuality is celebrated at the minute so embrace your differences! But do so with kindness and one eye on the planet.
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